6
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Is the expression below correct? No. But I never take no for an answer.

enter image description here

Your task is to make the expression true by moving exactly two matchsticks.

As usual, inequalities are not allowed. So is removing, burning, breaking, eating, etc. matches.

Hint:

I never take no for an answer.

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2
  • 13
    $\begingroup$ spits out match Sorry, I just read the last line. $\endgroup$ Feb 12 at 13:12
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ The intended answer is out. Someone voted to close the post. I agree that the number of valid solution is too high to make this a good question for this site. I hope you enjoyed it anyway. $\endgroup$
    – Florian F
    Feb 12 at 19:05

13 Answers 13

29
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as you said

I never take no for an answer.

take this YES :)
enter image description here

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1
  • 18
    $\begingroup$ This can also be read as "4 (is an element of) 5", which is true in many set-theoretic constructions of the natural numbers, such as the von Neumann ordinals: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$
    – A. Rex
    Feb 12 at 21:42
44
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this is how iranian people write numbers : enter image description here

so

enter image description here

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39
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We all have our preferences for how numbers in writing look, right? :)

enter image description here
9 = 9

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Very clever approach :) $\endgroup$
    – Avi
    Feb 13 at 4:14
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, this is the same solution I saw within seconds. $\endgroup$
    – TechnoCat
    Feb 15 at 10:57
38
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Could it be

enter image description here

where the left-hand side is not to be viewed as hundred eleven but instead three in roman numerals.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I first thought of making the 14 a "VI" and moving the bottom of the 5 to make it a weird 6, but this one's better $\endgroup$
    – oAlt
    Feb 12 at 13:25
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    $\begingroup$ Username checks out. $\endgroup$
    – Bass
    Feb 13 at 8:01
22
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This is my sixth attempt, but I think this one might actually be the intended solution:

enter image description here
Interpret as 11 base 4 = 5.

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12
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A little far-fetched:

solution1
Interpret as 1-1=0.

Even more far-fetched:

solution2
Interpret as 7-1=6.

More fair, but actually not:

Take a mirror and look at the image: presolution3
Now an obvious and completely legal solution is: solution3

Just... something:

Flip the image upside down: presolution4
And here goes the 'something': solution4
hi = hi :)

Okay here's a little better one:

solution5
Interpret as 10 = 10.

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1
  • $\begingroup$ Your best solution would by your #4 upside down. $\endgroup$
    – Florian F
    Feb 12 at 14:02
8
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This could be very simple if you know Chinese numbers

enter image description here

so

4 = Si Move the 2 matches from 1 to make SI or Si on the right side

And Si also means YES in Spanish.

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    $\begingroup$ The combination of Chinese and Spanish made the answer interesting! $\endgroup$ Feb 12 at 15:14
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    $\begingroup$ The best answer! $\endgroup$ Feb 12 at 21:18
  • $\begingroup$ Can you add a picture ? It is not obvious to me how you plan to place the matchsticks on the right hand side... $\endgroup$
    – Evargalo
    Feb 14 at 9:50
8
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We can move matches making up the 1 to get

4 ∈ 5
i.e. 4 ∈ 5. The standard definition of five (von Neumann ordinals) is 5 = {0, 1, 2, 3, 4}, so this is in fact true.

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8
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take the leftmost pair and place them at far right a la "- |"

so it reads "4 = 5 - 1"

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1
  • $\begingroup$ Could you include an image? You can download the image from the OP and edit it. $\endgroup$ Feb 13 at 11:07
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Sorry about the bad quality of my image, I was using MS Paint...

We're converting decimal to hex so 14 = E (I know we had to move two matches so I moved one of the = ones down a bit... It's still = !

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I like your second move :D $\endgroup$ Feb 14 at 15:19
5
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Now that the hint is there,

"Never take no for an answer" is a 1951 movie.

And therefore the answer might be:

enter image description here

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0
$\begingroup$

If we

Interpret true as a programmer might

We get

enter image description here

This is valid because

14 + 5 evaluates to 19, which is non-zero, and so it is truthy

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0
-1
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I know you already have the answer, but I really wanted to solve this, so here is my solution :P

enter image description here

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, though, 'inequalities are not allowed'. Top marks for enthusiasm, but do make sure you read the question in full :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Feb 14 at 14:14
  • $\begingroup$ Oh noos! I missed that :P I was so happy with it too ;) $\endgroup$
    – Adriaan
    Feb 14 at 15:56

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